Rolling out Canvas across Oxford

Since the start of activities in 2018, our strategy has been to focus the Programme team’s effort on the University’s 540 Academic, award bearing programmes of study as listed by University Admissions. The scope covers undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research programmes, together with any academic courses that directly support or further a student’s attainment of their award (such as language courses, academic skills courses, doctoral research skills, college courses and pre-sessional courses). Special emphasis has been given to replace WebLearn and other unsupported, ‘at risk’, VLEs.

The programme has also provided Oxford specific software enhancements to improve local usability, such as the calendar import tool, the group enrolment tool, search and sign up tools.

Canvas has also been integrated with a range of other Oxford teaching and learning tools such as Cabinet, Turnitin, Panopto lecture capture and Oxford Reading Lists (ORLO).

Where we are today and planning for the future

As of Michaelmas term 2019, the conclusion of our first phase of rollout activity, around 320 out of the total number of academic programmes of study now have one or more years being taught in Canvas.

It is being used by a total of approximately 12,000 students, including Canvas users at Saïd Business School. 3,420 users are registered as ‘teachers’ (which will include some DPhil and teaching assistants), with around 375 administrators using the platform.

We are currently working on planning for our second phase of activity into 2020. Although yet to be finalised, our plans can be broadly summarised as follows:

  • rolling out the remaining years of multi-year programmes of study that went live in Michaelmas term

  • working with departments and faculties to move the final 189 programmes of study not yet in Canvas

  • transferring any remaining teaching and learning focused WebLearn courses to Canvas

  • providing additional functionality to Canvas to support usability.

The formal Canvas programme is due to end in December 2020, when the Centre for Teaching and Learning will take on full responsibility for the ongoing operation and support of Canvas as the University’s centrally supported VLE. To enable this, we aim to have a fully operational business as usual (BAU) function in Trinity term for managing the operational day-to-day Canvas work.

If you have any questions about Canvas, or your department is interested in seeing a demonstration, please email the Canvas team at

Get in touch 

If your department is interested in seeing a demonstration of Canvas, pleas contact us.